Bad Habits That Can Damage Our Oral Health

Bad Habits That Can Damage Our Oral Health

Posted by Varni Dental on Dec 10 2022, 08:34 AM

We’ve all been guilty of engaging in at least one bad habit, consciously or unconsciously. But did you know that some habits can harm our oral health as well? Listed below are a few common bad habits that can wreak havoc on your teeth.

  • Nail Biting

Nail-biting is one of the most common habits that make our oral health suffer. It can chip the enamel away and makes the teeth sensitive and prone to cavities. It can also interfere with healthy jaw function. Over time, this habit can also wear down the tooth structure, causing tooth fractures or loosening the grip of the tooth in the socket. The risk of gum disease also rises due to bacteria and other germs that accumulate around these broken parts. This can easily lead to tooth loss as well. If you bite your nails occasionally or regularly, quit it as the earliest. 

  • Smoking

Smoking is bad for you for many reasons, including the health of your mouth. The nicotine present in cigarettes does a lot of damage to the gum tissue and tooth enamel. It can also worsen gum disease and makes the gums inflamed and irritated. Smokers also tend to have more dental issues than non-smokers because tobacco can discolor the teeth and whiten them less effectively. Even occasional tobacco use can result in a whole host of oral health problems.

Quitting is best done with the help of a physician and/or a dentist. Many practices have smoking cessation programs in place or offer resources to help you quit for good. 

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

Brushing your teeth too aggressively can wear down your tooth enamel. This can lead to tooth decay and cavities, as well as sensitivity. Toothbrush bristles should be hard enough only to remove food particles from your mouth without scraping away your protective tooth enamel in the process.

If you brush your teeth too vigorously, you can rub your gums raw and cause sores that bleed. This can harm the tissue that supports your teeth, leading to loose or shifting teeth and other problems. Therefore, you should only use a soft-bristled toothbrush when you brush your teeth. Replace your toothbrush about every three months or sooner if the bristles start to wear down.

  • Grinding Teeth

Bruxism is a condition where a person grinds or clenches their teeth during sleeping hours. When we have bruxism, we unconsciously and continuously grind our teeth, wearing down our enamel and exposing our dentin (the softer layer of the tooth) to food particles. This can cause tooth sensitivity and other damage. Also, when we grind our teeth, we change the alignment of the jaw. This can change the way we hold our mouths and cause bite problems. A misaligned bite can lead to pain in all your teeth or in just one area. This is why it is important to visit the dentist if you suspect that you are suffering from bruxism.

If you are suffering from teeth grinding, your dentist can provide you with a custom night guard. This is a thin plastic device that is worn in the mouth while you sleep, and it protects your teeth from further damage. Many people find this to be very effective in helping to treat their bruxism. Your dentist can advise you if this is the right treatment for you.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

If you use your teeth as tools or chew on pen caps and pencils, you could be causing permanent damage to your teeth. The pressure of chewing on hard materials can cause chipping or even breakage of the enamel. A habit like this can also wear down the jaw muscles and cause TMJ disorder and pain. If you’re tempted to use your teeth as a bottle opener or for any other activity that puts them at risk, try putting an end to this bad habit as soon as possible. You might feel difficult at first, but your permanent smile will thank you in the future!

For booking and other queries, contact Dentist San Jose, CA, at (408) 901-0101 or Your comfort and smile matter to us, so schedule your appointment soon. Visit our clinic at 181 E Tasman Dr. Suite 60, San Jose, CA 95134, with your family.

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